Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Where to Find Great True Crime Stories

My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge was unsolved mysteries. Many of the posts were inspired by shows I saw on Investigation Discovery or Dateline NBC.



The stories pulled people in, although some people didn't seem to enjoy them. I find it fascinating that people who are interested in true crime are often some of the gentlest, most loving people you'll ever meet. Think of the people you know who have watched every episode of this show:



Of course, even I don't enjoy details about torture or murder. I simply find the mystery of a missing person fascinating. How does someone just disappear?



Or sometimes it's the mystery of how a person ended up dead--the people involved, the events that led up to it. I tend to tune out when they give details of how the person was murdered.



But if you like true crime, there are a couple of recommendations I have for you. One is to pay attention to Investigation Discovery. There are some silly shows, granted...



...but there are some GREAT shows, as well. Also, you can find old episodes of 48 Hours, Dateline, and 20/20 on YouTube.



If you're into podcasts, here are a few to check out:

(Please add any podcast suggestions in the comments and I'll add them to this list.)

If you're more of a reader, I highly recommend any of Ann Rule's books. She's best known for her book on (her friend) Ted Bundy, but she also wrote a Crime Files series that is highly addictive. P.S.: All of Ann Rule's books work great in audiobook form.



Do you have any recommendations for true crime fanatics? Leave them in the comments so others can check them out!


If you want to help out with my Piper Morgan to the Rescue release blitz, fill out the form below. You only have to post on Twitter or your blog sometime between November 14-18--I'll send you all the info. you need to participate!


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39 comments:

  1. I think we're just naturally curious and a mystery draws us in. We like answers and want to know why.

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    1. I think so. Some people can't handle mysteries that don't have a resolution. I like to believe that maybe if enough people listen, there will be a resolution eventually...

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  2. One of the book challenges I'm doing this year calls for a true crime novel. This week at the library I grabbed Ann Rule's "In the Still of the Night" on audiobook. I plan to listen over the long weekend.

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    1. Ann Rule is brilliant! I just read a book about the Yogurt Shop Murders that is fascinating, but it drags for most of the middle, so I'd stick with Ann Rule.

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  3. Disappeared an old show on the ID network!! It's SO good!!

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    1. I LOVE Disappeared. It's one of my favorites...so sad that it went off the air. I guess there are only so many people who vanished. Seems like it could go on forever, though. That's where I first learned about Maura Murray.

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  4. And now I want to dig a hole in my backyard. ;)

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    1. LOL, it does sound like fun, doesn't it?! Digging a hole would be HARD work, though!

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  5. True crime is interesting to me, but I get a little too much of it during my day job, so it's never been a huge draw for me fictionally. Though a podcast might be perfect :)

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    1. I found that fiction on audio is tough. Not sure why. It feels like I need to see the words to really enjoy fiction. But podcasts are like talk radio. You can listen to it and do other things, like driving or working out at the gym.

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  6. Yeah, I'm not big on true crime, but I'm fascinated by plane crashes. I don't want any to crash, but the puzzle of what happened and why draws me in. I think it's a similar impulse.

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    1. That is interesting! I can see that...the science of it all. I think I'm fascinated with the human mind and why it goes off the rails as it does. Plus the mystery of just figuring out WHAT happened--although the truth usually isn't good to hear. I really usually just like to hear the mystery. The details of the crime are too disturbing.

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  7. Truthfully? This is one of the genres I tend to steer clear of. I know that's crazy, but I really don't like it. My mind goes to the person perpetrating the crimes and it breaks my heart that people can be so messed up that they can actually claim the life of another person--even without remorse. *shrugs* Different strokes, eh?

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    1. I do fear it's a sign I'm getting old. I remember as a kid wondering why old people were so fascinated with Murder, She Wrote. And now so many seniors I know are obsessed with shows like Criminal Minds and CSI. I did love the movies of the week back in the 80s and 90s, though, and I was pretty young back then--some of the best of those were based on true crime stories.

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  8. It's weird, but I'm more likely to watch a fictional show than a true crime show. I have a tough time with the true crime stuff - knowing the horrific details of actual crimes is tough. Maybe I'm just too light and fluffy.

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    1. I can see that. I can't watch fictional horror anymore. I love things like Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock that are scary...but when they start showing people being tortured, I'm out. That's why I had a hard time watching Criminal Minds, even though it covered the part of crime that fascinates me. It started in college with Abnormal Psychology and the study of serial killers and such. I hope someday they can figure out what makes people kill...and fix whatever that is.

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  9. I listen to podcasts while I run, I'll have to add some of these to my repertoire. I also like the podcast Lore, it looks into the unusual and creepy aspects of folklore.

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    1. That sounds like a great one! I'm always looking for new ones, too. I download the first episode of each new one and if I like it, I download all the others. I've figured out I don't like the ones where the host just reads a story from a script. I like for them to present the facts and then discuss it.

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  10. My late husband, Tim, used to love watching 48 hours. Duh, he was a career investigator. He said that 48 hours was about the closest to reality as you can get in real police work.

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    1. Really? That's good to know because I'm all over that show! I know Dateline tends to bend the narrative a little to fit their story. I've been surprised to watch a case on Dateline, then listen to the details on a podcast and find that Dateline left SO much out, that it changed the impression of whether the person was guilty or innocent.

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  11. re: I find it fascinating that people who are interested in true crime are often some of the gentlest, most loving people you'll ever meet.

    This is true! I have a friend who watches these grisly crime movies, but she'd faint if anyone in real life was bleeding. She's very sweet and gentle and couldn't hurt a flea.

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    1. Ann Rule actually wrote about that in one of her books. It's fascinating. In fact, the VAST majority of listeners to true crime podcasts are women. The guys from Generation Why do meetups and it's them, surrounded by women! Yet few women actually host true crime podcasts. I'm not sure why we're drawn to it--maybe we feel that if we could just understand it, we could make it go away?!

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  12. My speed for true crime would probably really freak people out, as I have books that are not for the time or those with week stomachs. So it would be safe to say that I wouldn't recommend these books unless it was for research purposes.

    I Are Writer!

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  13. Hi Stephanie,

    First, housekeeping -- many thanks for visiting The Marmelade Gypsy and taking the time to comment! Catching up with comments after taking a day off to grieve and regroup. Onward. With care.

    And on the book front -- have you ever read Mardi Jo Link's "Wicked Takes the Witness Stand,"about a murder in Gaylord, MI, several decades ago. Gaylord is where my cottage is located so I had an extra interest but it is a remarkable book, well researched and chilling when you think of how our justice system can be manipulated by the prosecution.

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  14. I'm addicted to all the programs from the Law and Order franchises, and will occasionally watch 20/20 depending on the subject matter. It fascinates me that people think they can get away with murder. Hugs...RO

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  15. I think I've always been fascinated by the mystery of true crime. At one time I would only read true crime stories because I felt like there was enough mystery and mayhem in the real world without making any up.

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  16. People who are interested in true crime are often gentle and loving, fantasy writers are often among the most down-to-earth people one could possibly meet, horror writers are often scaredy-cats... It's fascinating how human mind works. :)

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  17. Last summer I read Fatal Vision, the story of a doctor and green beret who may or may not have killed his wife and twu daughters. (Review here: http://aandj8804.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-story-of-jeffrey-macdonald-review.html) The book was long and detailed, and after reading it I kind of gave up on true crime stories for a while. It took me at least two months to get through the nearly 1000 page book. However, for a true crime fanatic, I could see it being an interesting read.

    I also loved the podcast Serial (season 1 - https://serialpodcast.org/). It's about a guy named Adnan who may or may not have killed his high school girlfriend. The case is returning to court soon since, because of the podcast, new information has been presented.

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  18. You've just reminded me that I went to a crime panel at a literary festival a few years ago - I'm sorry to say that I can't quite remember what they talked about, but they definitely discussed the link between being fascinated with crime/murder and human nature. I think it's a fascinating subject, although personally, I'm not that interested in crime I'm afraid! Your last image made me laugh - have a great week, Steph!

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  19. I'm a fan of Monk TV series and Sherlock. :)

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  20. I like the one about digging a hole in my back yard. The trouble is, my neighbors wouldn't notice. In the country, our houses are too far apart, and there only four within viewing distance. Fun, anyway.

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  21. I'm with Beverly. I like the one about digging the hole, too. We used to have a neighbor who would have come over in her nightie just to see what was going on. Bless her heart, she was one nosy lady.

    I've read a lot of Ann Rule books. Fascinating! Then there's "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote. Chilling.

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  22. I have gotten my partner addicted to the stories of Colorado Springs Detective Joe Kenda. Great stuff, indeed. Otherwise, I usually stick to reruns of "House MD" and the original 'CSI" episodes.

    Happy writing!

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  23. Hahaaa...funny quote. My daughter watches all the crimes shows and the true ones on Dateline, those ones I get hooked on because I'm curious and want to know whodunit, but they creep me out.

    Once during Halloween night my brother-in-law was digging in the back of his property, a grave for his dog that had died. I wonder what people were thinking...

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  24. When I can’t sleep, I tend to read a book but maybe next time I will dig a hole in the back garden – love that!
    Thanks for the list of Podcast links I wish I had something to add, but I’m very out of touch with these things. Thank you also for the recommendation to Ann Rule’s books these sound right up my street.

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  25. I don't actually find the crime fascinating...I find the solving of a crime...the detective work very interesting to read!

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  26. I do get very curious by crime shows too! I think it's fascinating to understand how criminals' minds work too, which is why I like watching them. Things like Sherlock and Leverage and Psych are my favourites. :D

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  27. Speaking of the gentle souls interested in true crime, one of my buds--who reads the true crime stories--recently had a murder in her family.

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  28. I'm not into crime shows, but I do like the old detective, secret agent, and police type shows... i.e. CHIPS, The Man from UNCLE, The Fall Guy, and The Rockford Files.

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